Born to a Tunisian family in France in 1981, eL Seed grew up speaking only the Tunisian dialect, and did not learn to read or write standard Arabic until his teens, when discovered a renewed interest in his Tunisian roots. His art was born on the streets of Paris, and now adorns walls across every continent. Incorporating elements of both the graffiti and Arabic calligraphic traditions, eL Seed is known for his unique style of calligraphy, which uses intricate composition to call not only on the words and their meaning, but also on their movement, to lure the viewer into a different state of mind.
eL Seed cites the 2011 revolution in Tunisia as a major factor in the opening of political space to alternate forms of expression. »The revolution pushed people to be more creative because before they were scared – and now they have more freedom.« He created his first large-scale mural one year after the beginning of the Tunisian revolution, in the city of Kairouan. This mural was a calligraphic representation of a passage from a Tunisian poem by Abu al-Qasim al-Husayfi dedicated to those struggling against tyranny and injustice.
His most controversial project was the 2012 painting of a minaret of the Jara Mosque in the southern Tunisian city of Gabes. About the project, eL Seed explained, »my goal was to bring people together, which is why I chose these words from the Quran. I like graffiti because it brings art to everyone. I like the fact of democratizing art. I hope it will inspire other people to do crazy projects and not to be scared«.
eL Seed will make in Halle for the exhibition »certainty.vision« a intervention on two large walls of buildings of the 70s.